They tore it down, and now they’ve cleaned it up.
On Tuesday, the final remnants of the K-25 uranium-enrichment facility were trucked off-site for disposal, essentially completing the billion-dollar demolition project that began in December 2008.
The last shipments including K-25 equipment that was contaminated with technetium-99, a radioactive material of particular concern, and Department of Energy spokesman Ben Williams confirmed those materials were being shipped to DOE’s Nevada National Security Site for disposal.
Most of the K-25 waste has been trucked to DOE’s Oak Ridge landfill, known officially as the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility. The disposal facility was designed and built specifically to accommodate cleanup wastes contaminated with low-level radioactive materials and hazardous chemicals.
URS-CH2M Oak Ridge (UCOR), the government’s cleanup manager in Oak Ridge, finished the demolition of K-25 — a World War II facility that was the world’s largest building under one roof at the time of its construction — in December. Since then, the effort has focused on removing the rubble and transporting it to landfills for disposal.
UCOR President Leo Sain said in a prepared statement: “While this final load of waste was just one in thousands of shipments that have been made, it represents so much more. A great deal of planning and careful execution has allowed us to finish this project safely and ahead of schedule, bringing a successful end to the largest demolition project DOE has ever undertaken.”
Photo credit: Wayne McKinney/UCOR